Starting Saturday, Yellowknife Education District No. 1 (YK1) gymnasiums will be available to public groups.
In Wednesday’s announcement, superintendent Ed Lippert said the gym bookings will come with some changes to ensure health and safety requirements. Among them, mandatory gym cleanings between bookings, limits on the number of total participants and records of participants for contact tracing.
“YK1 values and understands the importance of exercise and physical wellness, especially during the colder months,” Lippert said. “We’re pleased to make our gyms available to public user groups so they too can enjoy physical activity and team sports during the winter.”
The City of Yellowknife, who administers the bookings, has already communicated expectations to user groups. Compared to previous years, Lippert said gym bookings will be limited, adding that they may reconsider the issue in the new year.
YK1 is currently in the process of recruiting additional custodial staff to clean facilities between each user group, however those using the space are responsible for sanitizing equipment and high-touch areas after their sessions.
User groups will also be responsible for contact tracing. “Groups should keep detailed lists of nightly participants complete with contact information,” Lippert said.
As it stands, available gyms include:
- N.J. Macpherson School
- Range Lake North School
- Mildred Hall School
- École William McDonald Middle School
- École Sir John Franklin High School
“The school district considered a range of health and safety issues as part of its decision-making process,” Lippert said. “The possibility of contamination, the provision of personal protective equipment and the recruitment of casual janitorial staff among others.
“As always, YK1’s first priority is the health and safety of its staff, students and families, which is why public user groups can expect to see some changes when they rent gyms this school year.”